Complementary Competitiveness

Tonight as I ordered take away i came across an enlighten concept from an unlikely source – My local Chinese takeaway. As i finished ordering the phone operator informed me that i should collect the food from the competitors take-away and gave me directions. I was a bit surprised and she explained how the restaurant I had called was closed for renovations and they had agreed to sever their clients during the interim.

So was this a good or bad marketing strategy?

Effectively they were giving the customers to the competition was my first reaction. But then I realised I would have gone to the competition anyway, the restaurant was closed and they were the obvious second choice. So why forward on the number and encourage the competition? Well I only have one take away number in my phone and this is now still the case. I surely would have looked up and saved the alternative if this were not the case. When they reopen i will still call that number when the need arises. Also they could / should have monetarised the customers by forwarding to a traceable phone number to get commissions.

They have a now strengthened a healthy relationship with the competition and even shared staff to help them with the increased business, keeping the staff in wages during their closure.

So by passing the sale to the competitor they lost the sale and kept ownership of the customer. By putting the customers needs first they conceded a battle and won the war, in my opinion at least.

So how can you apply this to your business? Can you establish your firm as the one that your customers turn to for all their answers? Do you make friends or foe of your competitors?

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